Hunter Biden repeatedly admitted he made a "mistake" in not calculating the political ramifications of joining the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company while his father had official business in the country as vice president but denied doing anything "improper," in an ABC News interview that aired Tuesday.
Biden, speaking with reporter Amy Robach at his Los Angeles home, described his dealings with the company, Burisma, as "poor judgment" on his part that "gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father," former Vice President Joe Biden.
But he said he did not do anything "improper" in "any way whatsoever."
"I joined a board. I served honorably. I focused on corporate governance," he said.
Ukrainian officials have previously said they found no evidence of wrongdoing on the Bidens part. President Donald Trump's effort, led by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Ukraine into investigating potential corruption tied to Burisma and the Bidens' role with the company has sparked an impeachment inquiry alleging the president was using the power of his office to go after a political rival.
At a rally last week in Minneapolis last week, Trump tore into the former vice president and implied his son had gone into hiding.
"Whatever happened to Hunter? Where the hell is he?" Trump asked the crowd.
Hunter Biden said he was "hiding in plain sight."
"I don't regret being on the board, what I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this ridiculous conspiracy idea," Hunter Biden told ABC News.
Where's Hunter? He has totally disappeared! Now looks like he has raided and scammed even more countries! Media is AWOL.
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019
"You know what, I'm a human, did I make a mistake? Maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah. But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not," he said.
"It's crazy," Biden said of the political hay that has been made of his role with Burisma. as well as his business dealings in China. "They feel like they have the license to go out and say whatever they want. It feels to me like living in some kind of 'Alice in Wonderland.'"
Biden said he felt he was qualified to sit on Burisma's board but acknowledged that he would "probably not" have been offered the seat were it not for the fact that his father was vice president.
EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden says he did nothing "improper" while serving on board of Ukrainian gas company, but may have showed "poor judgment" in joining.
"Was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is...a swamp in-in-in many ways? Yeah." https://t.co/VvCTwfIUm6 pic.twitter.com/X2LD0vAnyq
- ABC News (@ABC) October 15, 2019
"I don't think that there's a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn't Biden," he said.
He said that he never discussed Burisma with his father except for one "brief exchange" when the elder Biden said, "I hope you know what you're doing," after seeing news reports that his son had joined the company's board.
"I made a mistake in retrospect as it related to creating any perception that it was wrong," Biden said of his decision.
He vowed not to have any business dealings with foreign companies if his father becomes president.This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy, admits 'mistake'